Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Here's how I have been spending some of my time online:

The Intelligence Test

Discrete Reasoning Puzzles
One of my favourites among these is this one:
"An Arab sheikh is old and must will his fortune to one of his two sons. He makes a proposition. His two sons will ride their camels in a race, and whichever camel crosses the finish line last will win the fortune for its owner. During the race, the two brothers wander aimlessly for days, neither willing to cross the finish line. In desperation, they ask a wise man for advice. He tells them something; then the brothers leap onto their camels and charge toward the finish line. What did the wise man say?"

Here's the solution

While the wise man surely prescribed the wisest course of action, here's what, in my humble wisdom, I would have recommended.

I would have told the heirs that neither of them would ever want to cross the line first. So they would wait for the other to cross. And wait. And wait. And that wouldn't happen. Maybe, with time, one of them would die, or the camels would die. That would be leaving the matter to fate. The outcome would still not be decisive. So I would have told them to seal a pact of honour: regardless of who crosses the line first, they would split the booty equally. They would then get to lay their hands on the money immediately. :)

Interesting. Try them out.

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